Fans, bettors and analysts alike were wondering what would happen when the best offense in the history of the league (statistically speaking) went up against the best defense in the NFL over the season. The answer was evident as the Seattle Seahawks’ defense was the story in a 43-8 rout of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII in MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. While the weather was a big storyline in the lead up to the game, it didn’t play as big of a factor as most had expected.
The Seahawks opened as a 1.5-point favorite after the conference championship games ended but by game time, the Broncos were favored on the SuperBowl lines by a field goal. Most of that came down to the presence of quarterback Peyton Manning, who won his fifth MVP award as he set records for passing yards and touchdowns in a season.
However, the Broncos looked off right from their opening offensive snap, which went by Manning’s head and resulted in a safety. By the way, props bettors that accurately predicted that a safety would be the first score of the game cashed in a hefty 60/1 reward. Rest assured, a couple of bettors took that payout and probably didn’t even bother with the Super Bowl odds the rest of the game.
From there, the rout was on. The Seahawks not only covered the spread but their margin of covering the spread was the highest in NFL Super Bowl history. The Broncos basically had no chance of covering their 3-point spread at any point.
By halftime when it was 22-0, the fat lady started singing after Percy Harvin ran back the opening second-half kickoff to make it 29-0. By the end of the night, the Seahawks had continued the ongoing trend as six of the last seven underdogs have managed to cover the Super Bowl point spread.
As usual, the Super Bowl was a heavily-wagered event when you factor in all the prop bets, first and second-half bets, and of course, on the outcome of the game. Reports from Las Vegas state that approximately $12 billion dollars was bet on Super Bowl XLVIII, which shouldn’t surprise anyone as this number doesn’t account for any online Super Bowl betting.
MVP Malcolm Smith was so much of a surprise pick for the award that he wasn’t even listed by himself in most sportsbooks. You’d have to find him lumped in with the field, which was around 20/1 or 25/1 at most places. Smith had 10 tackles, recovered a fumble and ran an interception back for a touchdown. As the night wore on, it became evident that someone from the Seattle defense was going to get the award, even though Harvin’s contributions had him high on the list.
Also; when it comes to the pregame coin toss, which got a ton of attention this year thanks to Joe Namath’s fur coat and jumping the gun on the toss, it literally is a toss-up. In 48 Super Bowls, heads and tails have split it evenly, 24 times each.